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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    I interpreted your point as, "Others should try and make their cars safer for when others ram into them."

    I don't want to ram into anyone, and in particular an 18 wheeler, large SU, etc....Did you see the tragedy the other day where a mom, probably distracted rear ended an 18 wheeler killing her, at least one of her own kids and another kid who she was driving home from sports?


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    I suspect you're reading Klurejr's posts a little more closely than mine.

    FWIW, the collision wasn't a "ramming" but a (literally, according to car data) 7 mph collision in bumper to bumper traffic. And when your car is a modern energy-absorbing thing, rather than a (totally awesome) body-on-frame old-school S-10 (that was my first car, I miss it dearly), it tends to crumple and deform.

    My perspective is putting a tow hitch as a weapon causes more harm than it prevents. The personal responsibility perspective works right up until it happens to your car.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    I suspect you're reading Klurejr's posts a little more closely than mine.

    FWIW, the collision wasn't a "ramming" but a (literally, according to car data) 7 mph collision in bumper to bumper traffic. And when your car is a modern energy-absorbing thing, rather than a (totally awesome) body-on-frame old-school S-10 (that was my first car, I miss it dearly), it tends to crumple and deform.

    My perspective is putting a tow hitch as a weapon causes more harm than it prevents. The personal responsibility perspective works right up until it happens to your car.
    Anytime one car hits another, I consider it ramming speed.... lol.


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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I am totally aware of and able to handle the liability assigned to me if I am at fault for a car accident.
    I, too, have insurance coverage. Now that we've got that out of the way, maybe we can talk about the real issues - socks for the OP (you're welcome, btw).

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    I suspect you're reading Klurejr's posts a little more closely than mine.

    FWIW, the collision wasn't a "ramming" but a (literally, according to car data) 7 mph collision in bumper to bumper traffic. And when your car is a modern energy-absorbing thing, rather than a (totally awesome) body-on-frame old-school S-10 (that was my first car, I miss it dearly), it tends to crumple and deform.

    My perspective is putting a tow hitch as a weapon causes more harm than it prevents. The personal responsibility perspective works right up until it happens to your car.
    you can always go Road Warrior and strap a railroad tie to your front bumper.

    you are making a generalization from an accident with some unusual circumstances, which is one of your mistakes. for example, you could have hit a pedestrian at 7mph while not paying attention and maybe it was a person in a wheelchair, or you could have been going faster at 50 and rear ended a school bus. or maybe the guy that you ran into usually takes the ball hitch off but he forgot. in the infinite number of scenarios the one constant is for the driver to wake the eff up and not run into another driver. but stuff happens, they are accidents. even the person who hits someone from behind had ammedical issue or bees stuck in their hair. the chances of one having a medical issue, bees in the hair,mreceiving an emergency text, all while approaching a vehicle that is loaded with 10000 pounds of TNT that will detonate on impact? it probably happens everyday?

    In general you are concerned about something that is extremely unlikely to happen. In your particular instance it seems like it could have been avoided. one could also say that you were unlucky, and I agree,but that's it.


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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    ..And don't be that ass that leaves your tow hitch in the receiver....
    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    ..
    But the sense that it's cool to put force concentrating things on the outside of your car for the sole purpose of shifting and magnifying the consequences to someone else just sucks..
    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    ..My perspective is putting a tow hitch as a weapon causes more harm than it prevents....
    You're trying to make a point that few will agree with. And your attitude and judgement of those who don't agree with your point of view is pretty harsh.

    If you ever lived or spent time in a rural area, where slow moving farm/industrial equipment share the road. Car damage would be the least of your worries.

    Whoever crashed your car because they were distracted by a bug (really?) reflects more on your judgement of who you let behind your wheel. You're damn lucky the driver that this person hit did not sue you for injuries.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckee29 View Post
    You're trying to make a point that few will agree with. And your attitude and judgement of those who don't agree with your point of view is pretty harsh.

    If you ever lived or spent time in a rural area, where slow moving farm/industrial equipment share the road. Car damage would be the least of your worries.

    Whoever crashed your car because they were distracted by a bug (really?) reflects more on your judgement of who you let behind your wheel. You're damn lucky the driver that this person hit did not sue you for injuries.
    I'm upfront with acknowledging this is an unpopular opinion. I haven't called anyone out in this thread for having poor judgment, or lacking in real world experience, or made hyperbole out of a literal fender bender (which, you know, read the quote here and ask yourself if you'd say any of that in real life).

    I do point out that having a tow hitch can magnify the damage in a simple fender bender. That's it. Maybe this is a freak occurrence, so be it. I do think that putting a tow hitch in to protect yourself "from enemy vehicles" is antisocial in the sense that it poses a sizable negative externality, but as someone else commented upthread, it's a matter of perspective. If you've been rear-ended a bunch of times, you're probably sick of going to the body shop. If you've had your car nearly totaled in a low speed fender bender, you probably see it differently.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    but stuff happens, they are accidents. even the person who hits someone from behind had ammedical issue or bees stuck in their hair. the chances of one having a medical issue, bees in the hair,mreceiving an emergency text, all while approaching a vehicle that is loaded with 10000 pounds of TNT that will detonate on impact? it probably happens everyday?
    I hate when the word "accident" is used to describe a collision. It implies a lack of fault. "accidents happen" is a statement that assumes nothing could of been done to prevent it.

    Most car crashes are collisions and are the fault of 1 or both parties involved and generally involve not paying enough attention (IE Distracted Driving) or going to fast for conditions or a combination of the two.

    If every driver gave enough safe following distance to the car in front of them, there would be no rear-end collisions. But that does not happen. That is a universal truth.
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  8. #108
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    I almost got f**kd last night by a dumb ass driver that thought it was ok to flip a U, from her right lane, mind you, in a massive intersection. Was I not paying attn, she would have plowed into me. Some ppl think because they drive a fancy sports car, they own the road. Sorry, rant over, but I'm sure I was pale! Very scary! A simple Junk n the Box run, could have been really bad.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    ..I do think that putting a tow hitch in to protect yourself "from enemy vehicles"..
    Suggesting that someone is an ass for leaving their receiver hitch in place sounds judgmental to me.

    But your suggestion that people do it for the reasons you state above is pretty revealing. You honestly think that it's a calculated effort to cause damage in the event of a collision? When people with a necessity to tow never give it a second thought... SMH

  10. #110
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    I think it's something most people don't think about. That's it. Some people do have the attitude that it's there for protection, and have said as much in this thread. I think that's asinine, and I'm fine with that being just my opinion, man. I'm not fine with being shouted down for being judgmental in the same breath as being told that I have bad judgment for letting a friend borrow a car and having a freak accident take place.

    As I said upthread, if you're towing stuff regularly (as in you're a contractor with a tool trailer, not just twice a year to put the boat in the lake and take it out), I get it. I have lived in rural parts of the world and shared the road with farm equipment. I have even towed stuff regularly before (I pulled a trailer full of portable roller hockey boards for a summer, best job ever). All respect to Dennis Green, I'm not who you think I am. To that end, let's grab a beer after a ride sometime.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by grundy View Post
    that's just it. not so much the rack itself, but does the hitch mount - whatever you call that big ol piece of steel that is bolted to the bottom of your car and to which your rack attaches - does that compromise your car's safety design (by reinforcing an area that's meant to crumple?)

    Seems like it would, but maybe not enough to worry about. Or maybe so.
    If it makes you feel better the bumper shocks are bolted to the exact same pieces of rear subframe--so in a really hard impact--it wouldn't make any difference--in fact the bike rack would help absorb energy

  12. #112
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    It depends on the car, I installed my hidden hitch rack on my VW gti, its bolted to the unibody, and probably will affect crumple, but to what degr e who knows

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  14. #114
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    I tow stuff with my F-250 a couple times a week so a ball is in the receiver maybe 80% of the time; if I'm headed out to the sticks I'll put in a slightly less damaging tow hook. Yep, eff you if you rear end me.

    That said; I backed out (in a different truck) of a blind parking spot (like 30 years ago) too fast and gored the side of a passing car. The damage the hitch did was much more substantial than if I had hit the car with just a plain bumper. I got to see it all in my rear view mirror.
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by chemtrailsniffer View Post
    In honor of this thread I did not remove my hitch after towing as I usually do.

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  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by chemtrailsniffer View Post
    In honor of this thread I did not remove my hitch after towing as I usually do.

    Attachment 1153664
    But it looks like you just took your bike rack off and put the hitch in place for the photo op

  17. #117
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    Thanks for clearing that up

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    Safest bet is to stay home, close the shades, curl up in the fetal position, and pray nothing bad happens.
    That is always an option. I ride a motorcycle to and from work everyday and get tired of hearing about how dangerous they are.... I could just stay inside and be a hermit I guess... leaving the house is dangerous, there is always a chance of getting hurt no matter what you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    I tow stuff with my F-250 a couple times a week so a ball is in the receiver maybe 80% of the time; if I'm headed out to the sticks I'll put in a slightly less damaging tow hook. Yep, eff you if you rear end me.

    That said; I backed out (in a different truck) of a blind parking spot (like 30 years ago) too fast and gored the side of a passing car. The damage the hitch did was much more substantial than if I had hit the car with just a plain bumper. I got to see it all in my rear view mirror.
    yikes! how much did that cost you?
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    yikes! how much did that cost you?
    It was so long ago (probably closer to 40 years) I don't remember as my insurance covered it 100%. Not totaled but pretty close. Don't even remember the make/model of the car other than it was mid-sized and light blue in color.

    I was in an apartment complex parked right next to one of those fenced enclosures they keep the trash dumpsters in; I had looked around before I hopped in the cab and as it was mid-morning there was no traffic around. So I wanted to hurry and back out while the coast was clear NOT. I hit the brakes the instant the car appeared in my mirror but not soon enough.

    It was sort of like the Titanic scraping along the iceberg (or maybe the Costa Concordia?) but what started as a minor scrape got real ugly as the rear tire snagged on the hitch and the whole rear end of the car was lifted off the ground only to be dropped back on the hitch just aft of the rear wheel well and before the bumper. So it was something like RH door, RH rear 1/4 panel, tire and rim and rear bumper.
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    Wow, this thread is getting a lot of air time. I actually thought about the exact same thing before I got my hitch receiver installed. I use Kuat Sherpa rack, which takes 30s to remove after each ride. Both to improve safety, safe gas, and provide easy access to the trunk.

    End of day, this how I got over it. As someone who has been in a not-at-fault head on total-loss collision. The incremental risk of running a hitch/rack in the scope of overall driving risk is miniscule. Further by the fact that mountain biking itself and injury has significant risk.

    Compare that to the alternative of roof rack and risk of driving into an parking garage (had multiple friend do that and destroy both the bike and cars.), the risk of the bikes flying off your roof because you're too tired or forget to clamp it on properly.

    Or compare to staying at home and buying an elliptical.

    The risk/reward/convenience of a hitch rack just makes sense to me.

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    The Nanny State is going to control the programming for driverless cars and there will never be another collision (note that I did not say accident). And everyone will be going 20 mphs everywhere, sleeping in their robot cars, and obeying every traffic law to the letter, like good little lemmings.


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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    As an aside, this impact made me a believer in neck injuries. I thought I was fine and didn't seek medical attention at first. I was sore as hell for about two weeks after that. No long term damage, but I was in a 5800 lb truck and it was only a 25 mph impact, so there was no way I should have hurt so much, but it did.
    Sounds like your hitch essentially bypassed your crumple zone and the hitch transferred the momentum directly to the frame of your vehicle and gave you whiplash. In other words, it sounds like the OP's exact concern was realized.

    cf: The National Safety Commission Alerts: How Receiver Hitches Affect Rear End Collision Injuries

    Today, roughly 40% of the vehicles on the highway have receiver hitches – and although they are necessary for towing – they reduce rear end collision damage and INCREASE the risk of whiplash by creating a stiff "crash pulse".

    In a European study by Chalmers with data from Folksam and Autoliv they concluded that a vehicle equipped with a receiver hitch (tow bar) increases the risk of whiplash by 22% if it is hit in the rear. And in the United States the most frequent vehicle accident is the rear end collision.

  23. #123
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    In general, I agree. Being a 3/4 ton Suburban, there is no rear crumple zone, however. Being a year 2000 light truck, the rear is even exempted from impact bumpers. So probably not a whole lot different. NHTSA light truck standards and car standards were and are very different.
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    I'm actively worrying about this. I just got a new Rav4 (hybrid) and want a rear rack vs. a roof rack (which worked fine for me 14 years on a minivan that this is replacing) to cut down on the wind resistance. But I do worry about compromising its safety. Now I am bogging down in indecision...

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    Sounds like your hitch essentially bypassed your crumple zone and the hitch transferred the momentum directly to the frame of your vehicle and gave you whiplash. In other words, it sounds like the OP's exact concern was realized.

    cf: The National Safety Commission Alerts: How Receiver Hitches Affect Rear End Collision Injuries
    Of course this would be true. However, it isn't diminishing the ability to be compensated by insurance as the article claims. Whenever you get hit in a situation like this, go to the hospital and get an attorney. The driver who rear ended you is at fault you will have no problem finding an attorney who will take the claim. The guy who posted above about it being damn lucky that the driver who rear ended wasn't sued is absolutely right.

    If you want to tow or have the option get a hitch. If you want to text while you are driving--walk--or get a driverless car that is programmed for Nanny-Safety to avoid your stupid self and you dumb-ass collisions.


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  26. #126
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    Are the 1 1/4" receivers any less problematic than the 2" ones (since presumably they are easier to bend upon impact)?

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    Are the 1 1/4" receivers any less problematic than the 2" ones (since presumably they are easier to bend upon impact)?
    I wouldn't worry so much about it, any thing destroys a car now days anyways. Is like worrying that you will fall every time you ride.

    I just hope my bike is at home whe it happens.
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  28. #128
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    Also, just found this: STOP Rear end Collision Damage & Reduce Whiplash Injury! SUPERBUMPER

    These guys sell inserts that claim to ameliorate the problematic issues with trailer hitches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I wouldn't worry so much about it, any thing destroys a car now days anyways. Is like worrying that you will fall every time you ride.

    I just hope my bike is at home whe it happens.

    It is my neck I am worried about, not the car.

    FWIW, I won't put my custom bike on any rack. It goes inside the car.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    It is my neck I am worried about, not the car.
    maybe dont ever go outside, you can get hurt if you leave the house......
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  31. #131
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    In this world of high massive pickups, 18-wheelers and flat beds and commercial vehicles, a ball-hitch left on is a wee bit trivial.

    Rear-end a flat bed truck at high speed will not end well for the offender.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    maybe dont ever go outside, you can get hurt if you leave the house......
    Thanks for reminding me why I seldom post here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    In this world of high massive pickups, 18-wheelers and flat beds and commercial vehicles, a ball-hitch left on is a wee bit trivial.

    Rear-end a flat bed truck at high speed will not end well for the offender.
    The question the OP (and I) have is whether the empty hitch bar/receiver, by itself, will defeat the crumple-zone when rear-ended by someone else. It is an interesting question that deserves a fair answer. Many people buy cars in part based on their crash test results. If adding a hitch bar would make the car perform significantly less well in a crash, then it is important to factor this in when deciding on a bike rack.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    The question the OP (and I) have is whether the empty hitch bar/receiver, by itself, will defeat the crumple-zone when rear-ended by someone else. It is an interesting question that deserves a fair answer. Many people buy cars in part based on their crash test results. If adding a hitch bar would make the car perform significantly less well in a crash, then it is important to factor this in when deciding on a bike rack.
    Fair question. The answer I gather is 'no' on most cars where the hitch attaches to the unibody. For trucks where a 2 inch hitch attaches directly to the frame.... maybe.

    My comment was more directed towards those calling out the ones who leave a ball hitch on. That it may damage a rear-ender car bumper more. The rear ender driver needs to pay attention more. Flat bed trucks will kill em. And they will kill a cyclist so easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Fair question. The answer I gather is 'no' on most cars where the hitch attaches to the unibody. For trucks where a 2 inch hitch attaches directly to the frame.... maybe.(
    OK, I've ordered a 2" hitch receiver (and a Kuat rack). You can visit me in the hospital since they will probably have to helicopter me into the Stanford trauma center next time someone taps my bumper.

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    Yep. My hitch is sitting in the basement, waiting to be installed. I'm going to drive with it for a few days and make sure there are no issues with ground clearance, etc, and will then order a rack.

    This thread got a bit looney, but there were some gems along the way. Thanks.

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    I've literally never thought about this... the only experience I know if where a hitch mounted vehicle was rear ended was a truck with a hitch (nothing mounted to it) was rear ended by a corolla. Bent the hitch a degree or two, totaled the corolla. But that was an HD Dodge Ram, so a little different.

    But for me, I wouldn't even think about that when picking a bike transport solution, especially on an Audi.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by grundy View Post
    Yep. My hitch is sitting in the basement, waiting to be installed. I'm going to drive with it for a few days and make sure there are no issues with ground clearance, etc, and will then order a rack.

    This thread got a bit looney, but there were some gems along the way. Thanks.
    Your hitch will be fine since it is close to the car. If it is low, look for a rack that elevates from the hitch height. As the rack sticks out, it will drag more on parking lot entries. 1Up and Saris rise up. Some Thule too.
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    I installed mine yesterday, with the "help" of my 14 year old.

    Anyone have any experience with this? SPAREBUMPER shock absorbing "Safety Bumper"

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    I decided to buy one of those Sparebumper things.

    It is vastly more substantial than I had envisioned. It also cost more ($150 with shipping) than my trailer hitch receiver ($107 with free shipping). The compression system looks quite sound. I hope never to have to put it to the test.

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    Wow, this subforum is unreal.

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    I installed mine yesterday, with the "help" of my 14 year old.

    Anyone have any experience with this? SPAREBUMPER shock absorbing "Safety Bumper"
    pretty cool but I am waiting for it to be bundled with an oil slick kit, and smoke screen maker,


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  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    I decided to buy one of those Sparebumper things.

    It is vastly more substantial than I had envisioned. It also cost more ($150 with shipping) than my trailer hitch receiver ($107 with free shipping). The compression system looks quite sound. I hope never to have to put it to the test.
    This thing is huge, and on my Rav4, it rides very low. I've bottomed out several times now. I'm kind of regretting this purchase....

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    It probably cost more than your bumper cover (my Escape was $50), and sits below the structural bumper. I suspect most vehicles will ride up and over these devices in anything beyond a 5-7mph bump, and they will act like a torque arm and twist the receiver or break it off its mounts.

    I've spent too many hours in parts yards and receivers don't seem to change much in the crash equation. Crumple zones still crumple, and receivers will crumple right along with them. Bolts snap, arms snap, welds snap. The increase in strength isn't enough to make a difference worth noting. As things stand, the level of strength varies a lot between vehicles. Slightly increasing the strength of your rear crumple zone is not going to result in major whiplash in low speed collisions, nor is it going to provide significant collision protection.

    In my Escape, the oem receiver replaced the structural plastic bumper. The structural bumper provided physical support to the bumper cover, and would provide protection to the chassis by crushing in very low speed impacts of up to maybe 10 mph. Beyond that, the chassis will start to deform. The oem receiver replaced the plastic 'bumper' with light gauge steel that would act in a similar manner, crushing in low speed collisions, not being part of the equation in high speed impacts.

    After market receivers mount below the impact target. While a mounted draw bar can obviously tear up sheet metal and plastic aesthetics, when it comes to significant impacts, I have yet to see anything to lead me to believe that a receiver significantly changes how a vehicle performs. Nothing like the difference bewteen impacting a chassis rated to tow 8kLbs Vs one rated for 6kLbs (both being light passenger trucks)
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by grundy View Post
    The short answer is: no.
    Huh? I still put my mtb in the back of a 2005 Audi A4 ... SEDAN. It will easily fit in the wagon.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  46. #146
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    Crumple zone from a couple years ago:

    hitch rack, car - safety concern?-img_0174.jpg

    That's what's left of a 2006 Element and 2014 Bronson and a Yakima Holdup w/2in receiver, after being hit by a Cadillac going 50mph with no brakes, because 90 year old men don't give a @#*$& about you and your life. Not shown is my friend's Stumpy, which was turned into a skid mark.

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbmaddux View Post
    Crumple zone from a couple years ago:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0174.jpg 
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    That's what's left of a 2006 Element and 2014 Bronson and a Yakima Holdup w/2in receiver, after being hit by a Cadillac going 50mph with no brakes, because 90 year old men don't give a @#*$& about you and your life. Not shown is my friend's Stumpy, which was turned into a skid mark.
    damn, damn, damn.

    90 year old driver... don't get me started. Last driving proficiency test was 70 years ago i suppose.
    IPA will save America

  48. #148
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    WoW! You guys were ok?
    2016 SC Heckler R build
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    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

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    That sucks. Not to sound crass - but it looks like your Bronson faired better than everything else.

    Did insurance cover everything including the bikes and rack?

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    Long story (details here). Short version: 3 cars and 2 bikes totaled. My bike then stolen off the towing company flatbed, and recovered by Eugene PD a year and a half later after someone spotted it on Craigslist.

    Everyone survived. Driver of the Cadillac was really messed up (no seatbelt). His insurance (eventually) paid for everything, except the stolen bike with homeowners' insurance. I now carry my own bike insurance.

    Anyway, didn't mean to hijack the thread. Hitch racks work as a crumple zone. Get one!

  51. #151
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    Wow, your bike gave its life to save your neck, and then it was stolen and recovered. You could almost make one of those "Incredible Journey" tear-jerker movies about this, except it is a bike, not a faithful dog.

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    Has it been mentioned that hitch racks allow you to avoid paying tolls, if your plate is covered? ;-) I'm surprised more jurisdictions don't cite hitch rack users for not having visible license plates.

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